Liverpool travel to St. James on Sunday for a big showdown with Newcastle United. It’s another early season test for the Reds and there are many things Jurgen Klopp will want to work on before kickoff. We gathered a few things that we’d like to see from the Reds on Sunday.
Without further ado, let’s get this rolling.
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s first standout performance of the season – Alexander-Arnold has had a largely tame beginning to the Premier League campaign. He has not dominated from the ball in possession like he was doing down the stretch of last season.
He did have an assist chalked off for offside in the Chelsea match, however he has largely been invisible. A big occasion like a trip to Newcastle would be a perfect time for Trent to make his first mark on the 2023-24 season.
We will be looking for him to link up with Dominik Szoboszlai in particular on the right side to unlock some fresh attacking ideas.
2. The defense holding up to the newly improved Newcastle attack – The first two matches have shown Liverpool have not left their defensive frailties in the past just yet. A clean sheet against the improved firepower of The Magpies would be a significant statement.
Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate are going to be crucial in handling the pace and creativity of Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron.
The defense has not put together a start-to-finish clean performance in a long time and Sunday would be a perfect time to begin.
3. Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez given full chances in attack – Gakpo needs to get out of the midfield. He is clearly limited in his role on the left-side of midfield as Klopp has had to plug and play while the club works on new incomings.
Gakpo needs to be pushed further up the field again so he can recapture the nice form he had last season. Allowing him to start up top and drop deep will be better for the fluidity of the side as opposed to having him start deep and aimlessly floating around.
Nunez also needs to get the start over Diogo Jota. Aside from a rebound tap in, Jota has not been largely effective. Darwin’s pace and physicality will be a better matchup for the strong Newcastle center pairing of Sven Botman and Fabian Schar.
He brings a dynamic element to the pitch that no other Liverpool forward can. Klopp has seemingly neglected the Uruguayan early, but we would like to see him given a proper go.
In a perfect world, all of the above will happen and the Reds will come out big winners from their trip to the North.
A win in this matchup could be a big springboard for the club going forward over the next few months. Let’s see what they can put together.